Seen from a pure historical perspective – most of the inventions and scientific techniques in agriculture and livestock production brought excellent results, with tremendous yield. After applying new methods, some farmers had increased their production per worker from one hundred to one thousand times more. But how do such changes affect people’s lives?
Mark Tompkins Canaccord, a graduated Bachelor of Agriculture at the Webster University of Ocala, who specialized in biotechnology and learned about the history of agriculture in his spare time, says that the development of agriculture began at a slow pace, which later accelerated more and more. Each of the stages has caused major changes in the lives of millions of families, and this process continues throughout the world. In this article, Mark describes the progress of agriculture and how it has influenced people. This can help us better understand the world.
Change in the life of farmers
Machines have changed the lives of farmers in many places. Most farmers and workers are expected to know how to handle complex machines and how to maintain them. An increasing number of them now work alone instead of groups as seen (in history) before, when they sow and reaped together.
Mark Tompkins Canaccord points out that farmers in many countries nowadays are highly educated businessmen who are engaged in mass production of only a few or even one agricultural product. They invest huge resources in lands, facilities and mechanization. Nevertheless, they still depend on others. Large food processing plants and supermarket chains dictate not only prices, but also the variety, size and color of the product. Agricultural engineers are devising a system of production, and specialized companies supply fertilizers, pesticides and seeds of hybrid varieties that meet these conditions. This is a great progress compared to the methods used by our ancestors. However, the farmers today still have to fight for existence, and some are worried that certain agricultural methods can have negative effects.
Many farmers in developed countries today are forced to give up their occupation because they cannot compete with large agricultural farms. To keep the property, some of them offer other services such as accommodation for tourists, camping sites and golf courses. Others produce organic food, grow flowers, or keep more exotic domestic animals like ostriches and alpacas.
In poorer countries, where for 80 percent of the population sees agriculture as the main source for existence, most poor farmers are also struggling with tough changes. International companies that use modern farming methods buy the best lands and grow crops intended for other, exotic markets. With low or no mechanization, farmers end up processing end up working on barren lands to feed their families.
In many countries, as Tompkins found out, more and more people leave the villages to live in cities, a culmination of a process that began several centuries ago. The fact that people give up farming and inhabit urban areas is still beneficial to some, but to the detriment of others. Very few governments, if any, have provided adequate assistance to endangered farmers. Mankind desperately something groundbreaking, which will make changes that will really improve our lives!